AP English 11
9 December 2014
Time of Change
In the early 50’s and 60’s racial tension was high, with race riots breaking out and racial injustice, many people had either been racist or grown up racist. This being said people also had the choice once they got older to either except that segregation was wrong or go along with the crowd. For young Pat Conroy growing up in Atlanta Georgia in the deep depths of the south, racism was all around, Conroy admitted to being racist as a kid but once he came to the age to understand, his views changed. Later in his life,
Conroy took a job teaching underprivileged kids on a small island off of the South
Carolina coast called Yamacraw island. In
The Water Is Wide
Pat Conroy displays a critical, reflective and satirical piece about how he teaches his class about the world and also relates how racism has always been around in his life.
Many kids grow up without a mother or father and even sometimes both, but this wasn't the case for most of the kids on Yamacraw island, they had grown up with almost no recollection of what the real world was like. These underprivileged kids had grown up in a very racist and “uneducated” time. Conroy expresses that when he talks to the kids about everyday events that you and I couldn't even imagine how we wouldn't know what they are, these children had no idea. He says that when he ask the kids about halloween that they had no clue what it was really all about, “Have you never dressed
up as a ghost and gone trick or treating?” they kids replied “Tricker treating..?”. Conroy ends up taking the kids while they have a great time his ways of teaching to the kids was unlike any other he was really connecting to the children.
Conroy is restless in his teaching methods and also in how bad he wanted to teach the all black class of the seventh and eighth graders in the bitter time of racism.
Pat admits to acts of racism growing up as a boy in a family and educational system of ruling segregation. In college he finds new ideas that prove and show to him to reject racism. The satirical racism used by conroy is brilliant in making fun of how society has treated the african americans.
Pat continues to take the children on trips to the mainland to try and broaden their horizons and get the kids out of isolation. His repetition of taking the kids back…